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This taco seasoning recipe offers up the perfect balance of flavors for taco night. It’s also great for chili and fajitas!

Small plate full of unmixed dried spices.

You’ll Never Want to Use the Taco Seasoning Packet Again!

It’s convenient and it comes right in the taco kit for easy usage, but that taco seasoning packet? Ditch it.

A homemade blend tastes so much better and can be enjoyed without food additives. Which, for the most part, are safe for consumption in small doses.

But we’re better off without them. And when you can personalize your taco seasoning recipe by adjusting the flavors and heat to your preference, why wouldn’t you choose that route?

What Is in Taco Seasoning?

  • Chili powder. This is the warming base of any taco seasoning.
  • Garlic powder. Because everything needs a punch of garlic.
  • Ground cumin. Another important warming spice in the blend, and not something you want to leave out.
  • Onion powder. Much like garlic, everything needs a little zing from onion. This spice is a little less important though. So if you don’t have access to it, I’d say you can move forward without it. 
  • Crushed red pepper. Control the heat of your blend with your crushed red pepper. My taco seasoning recipe isn’t overly spicy—it’s got a nice kick. But if you want more or less heat, add more or less crushed red pepper.
  • Dried Mexican oregano. This is one might be harder to find, but don’t fret. My recommended substitution would be marjoram, since it has the same citrusy notes as Mexican oregano, but regular dried oregano will do the trick if Mexican oregano and marjoram aren’t in your arsenal of spices.
  • Smoked paprika. I like smoky notes in my tacos or chili, so I always opt for a nice smoked paprika. You could definitely swap it out for regular or sweet paprika, though.
  • Sea salt. My recipe is just the right amount of salty for me, but play around until you find your sweet spot.
  • Cracked black pepper. This just balances the whole blend for me.

Small plate full of unmixed dried spices.

Why You’ll Love Making Your Own Blend

  • You can adjust the heat. If you like your tacos spicy, go heavier on the crushed red pepper. You can even add cayenne if you really want to amp things up.
  • A homemade blend comes without food additives. The dried spices I use are non-EtO, non-irradiated, and only contain a bit of rice concentrate to prevent caking. So any spice blend I create on my own is free of food additives. Again, I’m not shaming food additives as they’re sometimes necessary. But I think small efforts matter, and where I can avoid them, I do.
  • You can control your sodium intake. Adding your own salt is awesome, because you can achieve a perfect amount of saltiness without going overboard, like prepackaged foods tend to.
  • Adapt the flavor to your liking. I use smoked paprika in this recipe because I love a smokey flavor, but you can ditch it for regular or even sweet paprika. This applies to any of the spices—play around until the flavor hits just right for you.

How to Make Taco Seasoning

  1. Place all of your ingredients into a small mixing bowl or a small glass jar.
  2. If using a mixing bowl, whisk the spices together with a fork until fully blended. If you’re using a jar, simply pop the lid on and shake the jar until the spices are nicely mixed.
  3. Store the blend in an airtight container and label it.
  4. This is optional, but I like to note the “best before” date on the container with a small label. To do this, I just take a look at the best before dates of the dried spices I’ve used in the blend to gauge when the blend might be best until.

Useful Tools for This Recipe:

  • Small mixing bowl
  • Spice jar and label
  • Measuring spoons
  • Funnel

Funnel inserted into a glass jar with a spice blend.

How to Use Your Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

Taco seasoning is obviously perfect for most tacos, but it also lends itself in other recipes too. Here are some of my favorites:

 

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5 from 1 vote

Best Taco Seasoning Recipe

This taco seasoning recipe offers up the perfect balance of flavors for taco night. It's also great for chili and fajitas!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 0.5 cups
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Ingredients 

  • 2 TBSP chili powder
  • 1.5 TBSP garlic powder
  • 1 TBSP ground cumin
  • 1.5 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, For a spicier blend, add more
  • 1.5 tsp Mexican oregano, If you can't find Mexican oregano, use Marjoram! Or if you're in a pinch, use regular dried oregano. *See notes
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika, You could also use regular paprika or sweet paprika, if that's your preference.
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp cracked black pepper

Instructions 

  • Put all of your ingredients into a small mixing bowl, or a small glass jar with an airtight lid.
  • In the mixing bowl, whisk the spices together with a fork until well blended. If you're using a glass jar, just add the spices to it, secure the lid on it, and shake it until the spices are nicely mixed.
  • Store the taco seasoning in an airtight container and, if you can, label it.
  • Optional step: I like to note the "best before" date on my jars with a small label. To be as accurate as possible, I look at the best before dates of the dried spices I've used and use that to gauge when the blend might be best until. Spices won't exactly spoil, but they'll lose quality and flavor after a certain point.
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5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this to use on your Instant Pot Turkey Tacos. I was shocked how flavorful the spice mix turned out (despite a few changes that I needed to make): fresh onion and garlic, instead of powdered. I omitted the red pepper flakes, which worked out great for me. Tons of flavor! Thanks so much

  2. Girl, you just saved my dinner tonight! I was planning on making tacos but ran out of seasoning. Luckily I have all these spices on hand so no mad dash to the far-away grocery store today. ;)

    1. Amazing news! I hope you love it. Enjoy your tacos, and enjoy that whole not-leaving-the-house thing :)